Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy 2005 Commencement
The Charge to the Class will be delivered by Former Slovak Republic Ambassador Ronald N. Weiser. More than 80 graduates will receive a masters degree in Public Policy or Public Administration; seven graduates will receive joint degrees in areas such as law and business; and, an additional four graduates will receive a PhD degree.
Ambassador Weiser founded McKinley Associates Inc., a national real estate investment company, in 1968 and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until 2001. McKinley and its property management subsidiary own or manage real estate valued in excess of $1.2 billion. McKinley's headquarters are located in Ann Arbor and it has properties located in nine states.
In addition, Weiser is known for his dedication to the community. He is an active philanthropist and participant in the non-profit sector. A former Vice-Chair of the Michigan State Officer's Compensation Commission, Ambassador Weiser has served on the Board of Directors of numerous domestic and foreign companies and non-profit organizations including the University of Michigan President's Advisory Board, Ross School of Business National Development Board and the Advisory Board on Inter-Collegiate Athletics.
Weiser chaired or co-chaired the National Board for the Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning at the University of Michigan, the United Negro College Fund of Washtenaw County, and the Michigan Theater and was Treasurer and Finance Chair of The Henry Ford Museum. Together with his wife, Eileen, Ambassador Weiser in 1984 created the McKinley Foundation, a public community foundation.
In 2001 Weiser was appointed by President Bush as Ambassador to the Slovak Republic.
As Ambassador, Weiser officially visited all 138 Slovak cities. In addition to his diplomatic responsibilities he worked with the Embassy to organize three international investment conferences attended by investors representing hundreds of companies. He recently received the Cultural Pluralism Award from the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad for his work and contributions for the restoration of the Jewish cemetery in Zakopane, Poland, and one of Slovakia's most cherished historical sites, the medieval Trencin Castle.
Ambassador Weiser is a graduate with honors of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and did post-graduate work at the Business and Law Schools.